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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 April 2017
Arrived on time and product as expected. Great book btw!
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on 31 December 2009
This is my favourite of Scarlett Thomas's books. It mixes realism, fantasy, philosphy, quantum physics and a love story with a huge dollop of wit and intelligence. The plot centres around a book 'The End of Mr Y', which is legendary because everyone who has ever read it has either died or disappeared. Ariel, a slightly scuzzy academic, finds the book in a junk shop one day and it leads her on an incredible romp through alternate realities, thought experiments and homeopathy. It's a sort of kids' adventure for adults, although fairly heavy on the philosophical ideas.

Not for the faint hearted, but if like me you like a bit of the fantastical without liking the traditional fantasy genre you'll enjoy this.
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on 7 January 2009
I'm giving this book 4 stars just because that's the average it has received so far. I didn't like it as a novel but I disapprove of rating fiction, as liking is so subjective.

My real objection to this book is in its handling of the (admittedly minor) theme of self-harm. It is obvious that Scarlett Thomas has no personal experience of this subject and is merely repeating - effectively unedited - her research on it. I found this infuriating, as it reduces a complicated psychological issue to the role of spurious detail, with the aim presumably of being edgy and zeitgeisty. That is all I will say about this book. I know it's trivial but it's good to have a rant now and again.
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on 1 August 2012
A promising start, entirely undone by self indulgent name dropping, poor plotting, an increasingly irritating protagonist, topped by probably the least convincing depiction of villains I've ever read.

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on 12 October 2015
Amazing book! The best thing I've ever read! x
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on 10 September 2007
I am finding it difficult to put into words how much I was blown away by this book, which I finished reading this afternoon.

Scarlett Thomas could well have the most incredible imagination of any author I've ever come across. "The End of Mr Y" takes everything you believe about the universe and "turns it to spaghetti". It combines science, adventure and existentialism into one huge roller-coaster ride.

This novel should be made into a movie and if well made it would be on a par with sci-fi blockbusters such as The Matrix.

You must read this book.
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VINE VOICEon 13 October 2007
Ariel Manto is writing her PhD thesis and has a facination with a book called 'The End of Mr. Y', which no-one alive has ever read. That's partly becasue everyone who has had anything to do with the book has either died or disappeared.

Ariel finds a copy of this book, quite unexpectedly, in a local bookshop and learns it's secret; the book contains a recipe for a potion which allows you to enter an alternative dimension, 'The Troposphere'. Once in the Troposphere, you can travel around using the thoughts of others.

This is the start point for what turns out to be an adventure through science, religion, self-doubt, self-loathing and ultimately, love.

For those people who have read Popco, The End of Mr Y follows a similar kind of narrative. Thomas appears to have taking a load of subjects she is interested in (homeopathy, religion, quantum physics) and fused them into one glorious whole.

I loved this book. She did lose me a bit when describing the fourth-dimension, quarks, time and matter and all the electron stuff, but it has to be said, Scarlett Thomas on her bad days is better than most other writers on their best days.

Brilliant. If you liked Popco, you'll love it!
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on 10 September 2011
Simply one of the best books I have ever read... and I've read one or two... thousand...
Once You start it becomes compulsive reading and is the only book I have ever read that I re-read as soon as I finished it...
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on 9 November 2008
This book was a fairly good read, however very confusing at times often going on and on about things that seemed quite irrelevant to the actual story line. Saying that it did keep my interest (which is hard for me when it comes to reading) and often reminded me of a very wacky version of The Matrix. Odd ending which wasn't expected. A very thick book which could of been edited down a bit better as had a tendency to loose you sometimes but would recommend to people.
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on 1 March 2009
I had such high expectations of this. And true enough, the style is engaging, the philsophy and physics are intriguing, and the plot is quite gripping.

So what's wrong with it?

Now, I am not a prude, and a bit of sex and violence has never put me off a good book - until now. Keith Miller's excellent "The Book of Flying", for example, has a few scenes that made me uncomfortable, yet not for a second did I contemplate putting the book down forever.

Now to Thomas. Why of why does an author who is obviously intelligent and capable dumb down what could have been an awesome novel of ideas with images so crude and gratuitous that make you squirm and prefer not to know how the story ends rather than have to pick the thing up again?

I think I know why: sex and violence sell, and give those out there who wouldn't understand the philosophy and physics something to keep them entertained.

That's what I call a writer giving up their artistic integrity for the sake of the market. Such a pretty-looking book it was, too.
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